The most common accidents in the construction industry

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With over 2 million people currently working in the Construction Industry it is no wonder due to the dangerous and hazardous nature of the work that accidents can occur with often serious or even fatal consequences.

Accident at Work

Set out below are some of the top causes of construction related accidents and injuries:

1. Falls from height


The most common accident is when workers fall from ladders or scaffolding which can cause injuries such as broken bones, fractures, back injuries and also head injuries.

Your rights as a worker

An employer has a duty to all its employees on their construction sites to keep them safe and to ensure that all walkways are appropriately guarded and where scaffolding is in place to ensure that there is a safe access/egress route from the site.

However accidents do from time to time occur and maybe a ladder which is incorrectly secured or has come loose causes a fall and an injury. If this happens to you it may initially be the case that the last thing you are thinking of is making a claim for your injuries but when the reality of your injury becomes apparent and you are aware that you may need to take time off from work without receiving any pay to recover from your injuries you may well reconsider making a personal injury claim.

2. Falling objects


In a similar scenario you may be working on a construction site when an object is dropped onto you from above without any warning or the ability on your part to move out of the way causing an injury to you which makes it impossible for you to continue working. Injuries could vary from minor cuts and bruises to more serious crush injuries and head and brain injuries.

Your safety rights

Again, your employer is responsible for your health and safety whilst you are on the construction site whether they are the main contractor or not and they are required by law to keep you reasonably safe whilst you are in their employment.

3. Tripping hazards


In the construction industry hazards in the workplace are numerous, a further hazard to consider is the hazard of tripping over cables or falling into holes in the ground that have been created as part of the construction/building process.

4.Defective equipment


If your employer provides you with power tools to allow you to complete your job then they are responsible for keeping that work equipment in a good working order and for carrying out repairs to the equipment should it become defective. In the event that the work equipment becomes defective and as a result of that defect you are injured your employer would be liable for the defective equipment and responsible to compensate you for your injuries.

5. Vehicle accidents


Whilst working in the construction industry provision must be made for vehicles and pedestrians so that they can circulate in a safe manner if pedestrians and vehicles come into conflict then no doubt injury to one or both parties would occur and in this scenario again there would no doubt be fault on the part of the employer.

6. Excessive noise/vibrating tool hazards


Noise and vibrating tools are also a cause for concern whilst working in the construction industry as excessive noise from power tools can cause hearing loss or problems such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Your employer has a duty to check for excessive noise and where possible to reduce the level of noise or the length of time you are exposed to excessive noise whilst on site. If your employer cannot do this they are required to provide protective equipment such as ear defenders and to ensure that you are wearing the personal protective equipment (PPE) that they have provided.

The vibration from power tools can cause nerve and tendon damage to the hands, arms and wrists which if experienced can be extremely debilitating with reduction and sometimes total loss of grip strength. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms from the use of vibrating power tools it is important that you seek early medical advice to allow medical intervention to reduce any symptoms that you may have.

Safety/protective equipment

Whilst working in construction your employer has a duty to keep you safe and to provide you with personal protective equipment. This may vary from site to site but would generally consist of high visibility clothing, steel toe capped boots and hard hats, dependant on the nature of your work knee pads ear defenders, face masks and back supports are also commonly provided protective equipment.

7. Exposure to irritants


The final thing to consider whilst looking at common accidents in construction is to consider contact with irritants either through inhaling gasses or substances such as carbon monoxide or asbestos dust. Some of these irritants can have devastating consequences on your health and life.

If you consider that any of the items discussed in the article affect you in any way please contact a personal injury solicitor who can advise you further in the event that you wish to consider making a personal injury claim against the responsible party.


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